How can you say that the Sodom story in Genesis 19 is about lack of hospitality?
The men of Sodom attempted to rape angels
Rick Brentlinger Answers -
Many Christians think of inhospitality as a minor breach of social etiquette, similar to not having clean towels in the guest bathroom or not using the best china at supper.
In the ancient near east during Bible times, lack of hospitality was often a life and death issue. People depended on the kindness of strangers for safety as they traveled and sought lodging at night.
There is lots of information on my website about the interesting question of hospitality so I'll give a brief answer here and provide links to additional information.
There are many reasons why I believe that the Sodom story in Genesis 19 is about lack of hospitality or inhospitality instead of being about homosexuality.
- Scholarly heterosexual Christians admit that the Sodom story in Genesis 19 is not a good foundation for anti-gay teaching.
- Although the Bible mentions Sodom 48 times, it never refers to the inhabitants of Sodom as sodomites. Further, the Bible links Sodom to lack of hospitality but never to homosexuality.
- Ancient Jews viewed the Sodom story as a warning against lack of hospitality. This view is found in the Babylonian Talmud on Sodom almost two thousand years ago so viewing inhospitality as the sin of Sodom is thousands of years old.
- Jesus was not shy about publicly pointing out inhospitality as a huge sin. Hospitality is defined in the New Testament as loving strangers.
- From beginning to end, whenever the Bible mentions Sodom, lack of hospitality or inhospitality is the issue, not homosexuality.
Those are some of the reasons why I believe that the Sodom story is about lack of hospitality or inhospitality, not about homosexuality.
The vast weight of the evidence in the Bible and outside the Bible, supports this belief. There are two ways someone can read Genesis 19 and conclude that homosexuality is the issue.
1. Ignore what the Bible says or read into the text what scripture does not say.
2. Approach Genesis 19 with the pre-conceived idea that its about homosexuality and then attempt to force scripture to fit your pre-conceived idea.
How can you say that the Genesis 19 is not about homosexuality?
Gen 19:4 "But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter:
5 And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night bring them out unto us, that we may know them.""
Every man, young and old of the city of Sodom wanted Lot to send out the two men (angels) that they may "know" them.
Do you really believe the quotes of those listed on your website that they're talking about hospitality?